West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Magical Realism

In these titles, the magic and mundane converge to stretch the imagination and challenge our perception of reality.

The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J. R. R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness

The stolen child : a novel by Lisa Carey

"From the author of the critically acclaimed The Mermaids Singing comes a haunting, luminous novel set on an enchanted island off the west coast of Ireland where magic, faith, and superstition pervade the inhabitants' lives and tangled relationships--perfect for fans of Eowyn Ivey, Sarah Waters, and Angela Carter. May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid's Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remotesettlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island's natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to--until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle's cottage. Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She's seeking a secret holy well that's rumored to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities--or perhaps because of them--Emer fears that she won't be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer's. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters' lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever. Steeped in Irish history and lore, The Stolen Child is a mesmerizing descent into old world beliefs, and a captivating exploration of desire, myth, motherhood,and love in all its forms. <strong>"Steeped in dark Irish mythology, The Stolen Child is apiercing exploration of regret and desire, longing and love. It is a gorgeously written,inventive, and compelling novel."</strong>--<strong>Ayelet Waldman</strong>"--

The water dancer : a novel by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage--and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child--but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey into the covert war on slavery that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he's enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, all Hiram wants is to return to the Walker Plantation to free the family he left behind--but to do so, he must first master his magical gift and reconstruct the story of his greatest loss. This is a bracingly original vision of the world of slavery, written with the narrative force of a great adventure. Driven by the author's bold imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, The Water Dancer is the story of America's oldest struggle--the struggle to tell the truth--from one of our most exciting thinkers and beautiful writers"--

LaRose : a novel by Louise Erdrich

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence - but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition - the sweat lodge - for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them

A tall history of sugar : a novel by Curdella Forbes

"[This novel] tells the story of Moshe Fisher, a man who was "born without skin," so that no one is able to tell what race he belongs to; and Arrienne Christie, his quixotic soul mate who makes it her duty in life to protect Moshe from the social and emotional consequences of his strange appearance. The narrative begins with Moshe's birth in the late 1950s, four years before Jamaica's independence from colonial rule, and ends in the era of what Forbes calls "the fall of empire," the era of Brexit and Donald Trump. The historical trajectory layers but never overwhelms the scintillating love story as the pair fight to establish their own view of loving, against the moral force of the colonial "plantation" and its legacies that continue to affect their lives and the lives of those around them."--Publisher description

Red birds by Mohammed Hanif

"An American pilot crash lands in the desert and finds himself on the outskirts of the very camp he was supposed to bomb. After days spent wandering and hallucinating from dehydration, Major Ellie is rescued by one of the camp's residents, a teenager named Momo, whose entrepreneurial money-making schemes are failing as his family is falling apart: His older brother, Ali, left for his first day of work at an American base and never returned; his parents are at each other's throats; his dog, Mutt, is havinga very bad day; and an earthy-crunchy aid worker has shown up wanting to research him for her book on the Teenage Muslim Mind. Amidst the madness, Momo sets out to search for his brother Ali, hoping his new Western acquaintances might be able to help find him. But as the truth of Ali's whereabouts begin to unfold, the effects of American "aid" on this war-torn country are revealed to be increasingly pernicious. Written with his trademark wit and keen eye for absurdity, and revealing critical truths aboutthe state of the world today, Red Birds shows master storyteller Mohammed Hanif at the height of his powers"--

The world that we knew : a novel by Alice Hoffman

"From New York Times bestselling author Alice Hoffman comes a beautiful story of one Jewish child refugee's flight to safety in Nazi German and her mother's impossible decision to set her free"--

The talented Ribkins : a novel by Ladee Hubbard

""For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard's original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself." --Toni Morrison "The Talented Ribkinsis a charming and delightful debut novel with a profound heart, and Ladee Hubbard's voice is a welcome original." --Mary Gaitskill An INDIE NEXT 2017 pick Winner of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award Winner of the William Faulkner - William Wisdom Prize At seventy-two, Johnny Ribkins shouldn't have such problems: He's got one week to come up withthe money he stole from his mobster boss or it's curtains for Johnny. What may or may not be useful to Johnny as he flees is that he comes from an African-American family that has been gifted with rather super powers that are rather sad, but superpowersnonetheless. For example, Johnny's father could see colors no one else could see. His brother could scale perfectly flat walls. His cousin belches fire. And Johnny himself can make precise maps of any space you name, whether he's been there or not. In the old days, the Ribkins family tried to apply their gifts to the civil rights effort, calling themselves The Justice Committee. But when their, eh, superpowers proved insufficient, the group fell apart. Out of frustration Johnny and his brother used theirtalents to stage a series of burglaries, each more daring than the last. Fast forward a couple decades and Johnny's on a race against the clock to dig up loot he's stashed all over Florida. His brother is gone, but he has an unexpected sidekick: his brother's daughter, Eloise, who has a special superpower of her own. Inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois's famous essay "The Talented Tenth" and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard's marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together"--

The dark dark : stories by Samantha Hunt

"This is the first collection of stories from a widely acclaimed novelist writing in the realm of the literary fantastical. They urge an understanding of youth and mortality, ghosts, ghost towns, doubling and loss, with the hope that we can know one another more deeply or at least stand side by side to observe the mystery of the world"--

The glass hotel : a novel by Emily St Mandel

"From the award-winning author of Station Eleven, a captivating novel of money, beauty, white-collar crime, ghosts, and moral compromise in which a woman disappears from a container ship off the coast of Mauritania and a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, dragging countless fortunes with it"--

Fire is your water : a novel by Jim Minick

"Sacred chants are Ada Franklin's power and her medicine: by saying them, she can remove warts, stanch bleeding, and, especially, draw the fire from burns. At age twenty, her reputation as a faith healer defines her in her rural Pennsylvania community"--

She would be king : a novel by Wayétu Moore

Norma : a novel by Sofi Oksanen

"When Anita Naakka jumps in front of an oncoming train, her daughter, Norma, is left alone with the secret they have spent their lives hiding: Norma has supernatural hair, sensitive to the slightest changes in her mood--and the moods of those around her--moving of its own accord, corkscrewing when danger is near. And so it is her hair that alerts her, while she talks with a strange man at her mother's funeral, that her mother may not have taken her own life. Setting out to reconstruct Anita's final months--sifting through puzzling cell phone records, bank statements, video files--Norma begins to realize that her mother knew more about her hair's powers than she let on: a sinister truth beyond Norma's imagining. As Sofi Oksanen leads us ever more deeply into Norma's world, weaving together past and present, she gives us a dark family drama that is a searing portrait of both the exploitation of women's bodies and the extremes to which people will go for the sake of beauty"--

Gingerbread : a novel by Helen Oyeyemi

"The prize-winning, bestselling author of Boy, Snow, Bird and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a bewitching and inventive novel."--

The labyrinth of the spirits : a novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The old drift : a novel by Namwali Serpell

On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. Here begins the epic story of a small African nation, told by a mysterious swarm-like chorus that calls itself man's greatest nemesis. The tale? A playful panorama of history, fairytale, romance and science fiction. The moral? To err is human

Once upon a river : a novel by Diane Setterfield

As the novel opens, a small girl is rescued from a wintry river that winds through a village older than memory, a river that is central to the lives and imaginations of the people who live on its banks. Though initially thought dead, she miraculously begins to breathe again. What happened to her? Who is she? Everyone in this novel has a story, and the border between truth and fantasy, eternity and the now, is more porous than we would ever think and crossed as swiftly as the river itself

One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Tells the story of the Buendia family, set against the background of the evolution and eventual decadence of a small South American town

Kafka on the shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.

The ocean at the end of the lane : a novel by Neil Gaiman

Presents a modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, and sacrifice in the story of a family at the mercy of dark forces, whose only defense is the three women who live on a farm at the end of the lane

The house of the spirits : a novel by Isabel Allende

"The unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world's most gifted and imaginative storytellers. The House of the Spirits brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family. The patriarch Esteban is a volatile, proud man whose voracious pursuit of political power is tempered only by his love for his delicate wife, Clara, a woman with a mystical connection to the spirit world. When their daughter Blanca embarks on a forbidden love affair in defiance of her implacable father, the result is an unexpected gift to Esteban: his adored granddaughter Alba, a beautiful and strong-willed child who will lead her family and her country into a revolutionary future. One of the most important novels of thetwentieth century, The House of the Spirits is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate"--

The night circus : a novel by Erin Morgenstern

A circus, titled Le Cirque des Reve, comes to town out of the blue and without warning. Within its tents, young magicians Celia and Marco compete to be the best, having done so since childhood. However, under the backdrop of their intense rivalry, a blossoming romance develops

The midnight library by Matt Haig

Nora Seed finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, or realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist, she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

Exit west : a novel by Mohsin Hamid

"From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, a love story that unfolds in a world being irrevocably transformed by migration. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, twoyoung people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As violence and the threat of violence escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West is an epic compressed into a slender page-turner--both completely of our time and for all time, Mohsin Hamid's most ambitious and electrifying novel yet"--

The golem and the jinni : a novel by Helene Wecker

Combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology in the story of two supernatural creatures--Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire--who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of turn-of-the-century New York

The alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A fable about undauntingly following one's dreams, listening to one's heart, and reading life's omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being

The time traveler's wife : a novel by Audrey Niffenegger

Passionately in love, Clare and Henry vow to hold onto each other and their marriage as they struggle with the effects of Chrono-Displacement Disorder, a condition that casts Henry involuntarily into the world of time travel

The invisible life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab

Making a Faustian bargain to live forever but never be remembered, a woman from early eighteenth-century France endures unacknowledged centuries before meeting a man who remembers her name

The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Living with an old-world mother and rebellious sister, an urban New Jersey misfit dreams of becoming the next J. R. R. Tolkien and believes that a long-standing family curse is thwarting his efforts to find love and happiness
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National Medal Recipient of the National Medal, the nation's highest honor for libraries.